Five Drawing Lessons, a lecture series by William Kentridge

Internationally acclaimed South African artist William Kentridge will be presenting five public lectures at Wits Theatre in Johannesburg, hosted by the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC) at Wits University.

Kentridge first presented the lectures as Six Drawing Lessons at Harvard University in 2012, as part of the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry. Wits University is pleased to be able to host the lecture series in Johannesburg for a general public. The lectures, and one public Question and Answer session with the artist, are free and open to the public, but bookings for each lecture are essential.

In introducing the Lessons at Harvard, Professor Homi Bhabha remarked, ‘Nothing is impossible in the company of William Kentridge: Plato, Mozart, Saartjie Baartman, Gauguin, Picasso, Shostakovich, and Muafangejo will rub noses in the most unexpected ways. Vienna 1791, Berlin 1884, Nyassaland 1915, Congo 1936, Johannesburg 2011, Cambridge 2012 will map a global geopolitical itinerary as territoriality bleeds into a formal aesthetic inventory.’ In Kentridge’s inimitable mode, the Lessons will move from image to word, from artistic practice to philosophical reflection, and back, reviewing the deepest ideas of his work and method over the past 30 years. These extraordinary lectures scale back and forth between classical philosophical ideas, the history of images, the practice of studio-work, the history of the colonial world and the life of Johannesburg. All made sense of through reference to particular works of the artist from across his auspicious career. Five Drawing Lessons promises to be a magical journey through the art and mind of one of our most important artists.

Lesson One: In Praise of Shadows, Thurs 20 June, 6.30pm

Lesson Two: A Brief History of Colonial Revolts, Sun 23 June, 4pm

Lesson Three: Vertical Thinking: A Johannesburg Biography, Sun 30 June, 11am

Lesson Four: Practical Epistemology: Life in the Studio, Sun 30 June, 2pm

Question and Answer with the Artist, Tues 2 July, 5.30pm

Lesson Five: In Praise of Mistranslation, Tues 2 July, 6.30pm

Venue: Wits Theatre, 25 Station Street, Braamfontein.

Parking available in Senate House Basement 2 and Station Road Entrance.

Five Drawing Lessons by William Kentridge are part of the JWTC 2013 Session on “The Life of Forms”, and form part of a broader 10-day programme of public lectures, round-tables, panels and exhibitions to which the public is warmly invited. All events are open to the public on a first-come-first-seated basis.

Booking details:

Free and open to the public

Reservations essential

RSVP  najibha.deshmukh@wits.ac.za